Intended for healthcare professionals

Sacred Cows

A seamless service

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: (Published 19 December 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:1723
  1. Iona Heath, general practitioner
  1. Caversham Group Practice, London NW5 2UP

    I would put money on the tediously overused, and intrinsically ridiculous, phrase “a seamless service” having been invented by a man. The most rudimentary knowledge and experience of needlework teaches the usefulness of seams.1 Indeed, a structure can be seamless only if it is made of a uniform material, seamless nylon stockings being a classic example. But as soon as the desired structure requires a number of differently shaped pieces or a variety of materials, seams are needed to hold the whole together. The construction of the seam overlaps the edges of the different pieces or materials, and it is the overlap that gives the seam its strength. Without seams, and without overlap, the whole construction ruptures under the …

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